disneyland

California Here We Come (Pictures)

I have to admit, visiting Los Angeles in the winter is the way to go. Well actually, it’s sort of bittersweet. Adam and I were there during an unseasonably warm weekend, and that made coming back to Chicago and its VERY COLD TEMPERATURES that much harder. But getting away from the cold was very nice.

We got into town Thursday night and apparently, while we were on the FlyAway Shuttle to Van Nuys, a 5.0 earthquake hit. Because we were on the bus, we didn’t feel it one bit. There were a lot of accidents, so the 30 minute trip from LAX to the drop off actually took 90. I was pretty hungry, but Melissa and Eli, who met us at the shuttle drop off, took us to In N Out Burger which made everything worth it. After dinner, we went to Amy’s place and stayed up pretty late talking. She’s awesome, just so you know. :)

Amy and Me!
Amy and me!

Friday morning, Amy went off to work, and Adam and I got ready to spend the day with Melissa. She took us sight seeing on Mulholland (there was smog, so the pics are just OK), and then we walked near the WB Studio lots. We had to get a picture of the Animaniacs water tower for Aidan, who LOVES that cartoon!

Where the Animaniacs Live!

The highlight, though, was touring the Disney Studios lot.

Disney Water Tower
Disney Lot Water Tower

Me & The PartnersWalt Shows Us Something! Roy, Minnie, Adam & MeDisney Archives SignStreet Sign

Besides the obvious photo ops, there is so much to see and do on the lot. So much Disney history.

We ate lunch in the commissary and then toured the lot a bit more. I bought some stuff in the store that was only available at the theme parks which made me happy. I had a blast on the Disney Studios lot and would LOVE to work in such a place. Immersed in Disney culture, how wonderful, right?

After that, we went to the Griffith Observatory which was out of this world. It was free, which was amazing to me. They had so much cool stuff to look at. All sorts of neat instruments and exhibits (I found out that on Jupiter, I’d weigh 300 pounds), models and a giant telescope. It was extremely impressive.

Griffith Observatory
The entrance is not an entrance, huh? Adam is confused.

Griffith Observatory
Infrared Me.

Griffith Observatory
Einstein checks out my sunglasses.

We ate dessert at a place called Porto’s, which was inexpensive and delicious. Check out these pastries:

Food at Porto's

I had the strawberry shortcake. :) OK, I had THREE over the course of the weekend, but seriously, look at it. How could I resist?

Friday night, we had dinner with some friends of Melissa and Eli, and they were cool people. After dinner, we headed back to Amy’s, where Amy and I were hyper and stayed up talking forever. Adam kept telling me to go to sleep so I wouldn’t be tired the next day because we were going to DISNEYLAND!!!

Well, seeing as I’m a Disney nut, the adrenaline kept me going pretty well all day. I only had one crash in the afternoon, but once I got some food in me, I was good to go again. We got there before the park opened (the first time I’ve ever gone to a Disney park at opening), and it was good times from then on.

Brothers & Sisters
Adam, me, Melissa, and Eli

YAY!Adam, Me, and Goofy!Dare Me To Do It?Watch This!!Meeting Conductor Mickey!Princess Fantasy FaireTwo Thumbs Up!

Disneyland kicked butt. In a nutshell, we rode tons of rides, the weather was beautiful, the crowd level was low, and even though the character count was nothing like at Disney World, I GOT TO MEET PRINCESS MINNIE who I didn’t even know existed in the US parks! Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean WIN at Disneyland, and Indiana Jones is unlike anything I’ve ever ridden. Tower of Terror is just as nerve wracking and fun, but it IS different from the one at Disney World. I got to ride California Screamin’ this time around, and even though I enjoyed it, I would have liked it more if I hadn’t been getting a sick headache. (Fortunately, a cookie and some bread took care of that later). We watched the Pixar Play Parade, and later, Melissa and Eli treated Adam and me to dinner at the Blue Bayou which was yummy. We stayed until closing. I’d never stayed at a park from open until close before, but I will do it more often (because OH YES, I do plan to go back someday!). It was a great time.

Sunday, Melissa and I hopped on the Metro and went to Roscoe’s to meet Tasha for lunch. Tasha is sooo awesome. I’ve known her through the online world for nearly a decade now, and we finally got to meet in person. She’s fun to talk to and very, very cute. I had a great time with her–the time we spent was not long enough at all! I can’t wait to see her again soon!

Tasha and Me!
Tasha and me!

The food was good, too. Mmm, chicken and waffles.

After lunch, Melissa and I walked around Hollywood Blvd., and we popped into the Disney Soda Fountain and Studio Store. That store was cool because it had some exclusive merchandise and the VAULT. Disney freaks surely know all about that blasted vault where our beloved animated features go after a certain amount of time.

The Vault!

It might not be the ACTUAL vault, but still.

Melissa got a picture of me in front of the Kodak Theatre where the Oscars are held. I’m trying to look “fierce.” I don’t think I pulled it off, though.

A-List Ronni

That evening, Dave and Angie came over to Melissa and Eli’s and we had pizza and hung out. That was fun. It’s always good to see Dave and Angie. :)

Angie & Dave

It was a great, great trip. If I ever got rich, I’d like to have a 2nd home in L.A. A place to escape during the winter, a place where I have plenty of friends and family. A place where I can get In N Out Burger all the time. And of course… Disneyland!

Want to see more pictures? You know you do! Just click here.

‘Til next time….

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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My Trip!!! (LOTS of PICTURES!)

Day One

The flight to Texas was fairly uneventful. Smooth ride. It was really cool flying over Ohio State, though. The stadium looks amazing from up high. Plus, we were at that perfect altitude—one of my favorite parts of flying: when you’re not up so high that nothing is visible but squiggly lines, but not down so low that you know it’s real life. It’s that altitude where everyone looks like toys. Neighborhoods look like dollhouses and toy cars and oh, look at the little baseball diamonds!

I was a bit worried because I’d noticed that my boarding pass for my 2nd flight didn’t have a gate number. Just before we landed, the flight attendant announced the locations of the connecting flights. We arrived at gate C-14 and my flight was to take off at gate C-28. Okay, easy peasy, right? HA! Not so much. We got switched all the way to gate A-25. Have you ever been to the Dallas/Fort Worth Int’l Airport? Um yeah. It’s HUGE. I don’t think I was sitting for more than fifteen minutes when we were moved again, to gate A-9! My arms were killing me by now, but I was excited and in good spirits because heck, I was going to Disneyland that evening!

I got to talk to an older woman from Switzerland. She’d been in the States for nine years. She flew first class. She was funny, heading out to gamble. I also got to talk to a woman from New Orleans. She said her house was under water and that she’d stayed in the hotel across the street from the Superdome. She had a gorgeous little dog with her. She was going to stay with relatives. Her attitude was so amazing, but she kept saying that she didn’t know HOW she felt about everything. I would imagine quite a bit of numbness would ensue at first, that’s for sure. I think of her often.

I landed at Ontario airport about 6:10 PST. Over an hour late. Our plane had been delayed due to mechanical reasons.

Amy (nerdiness) was waiting at the bottom of the escalator and I ran and gave her a big hug. Then we hopped into the car and onto the highway. I had to pee like a racehorse, but I held it until we got to the hotel. Once there, we checked in and Amy got the tickets for Disneyland. Then we went to our rooms, freshened up (ah, bathroom at last!), then headed out. We were parked right next to the parking garage for Disneyland, which is approxiamately ½ mile away from the park. Since we got there so late (about 8:15ish) we didn’t have to pay for parking. We hopped on the tram and made it to Disneyland in no time. We stopped at Downtown Disney. Amy wondered why I wasn’t getting off—I hadn’t realized that the parks were all so close to each other! I finally got it straight, and we got our bags searched and went inside. IT WAS CROWDED! Everyone was filing in to watch the fireworks and Fantasmic! I took as many night shots as I could, and we did a brief sweep of the park, riding the Pooh ride, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and watching the fireworks. A tiny bit of shopping took place too. Of course! :)

My first thought was: THIS LOOKS JUST LIKE MAGIC KINGDOM! The only difference was the castle. The Sleeping Beauty castle is a lot smaller than the Cinderella castle, but hey, it’s PINK and therefore no less beautiful.

Exhausted, I came home, posted an entry on LJ and went to sleep.

Day Two

I was up at the ungodly hour of 7:30am. Of course, it was like 10:30am to my Eastern Standard Time mind and body. Nevertheless, I was excited to go. I knew Disneyland had opened at 8, but I wanted a bit of rest and I let Amy sleep while I got ready and played on the computer. We didn’t get to the park until about 9:30am. Promptly ran into Mickey. :) That was cool. He took my arm and we walked together to his greeting post. They never did that kind of thing at Disneyworld! I was shocked to see characters randomly roaming around. In Florida, it’s all so structured and a character roaming the streets alone would totally get swamped!

The crowds were not bad at all. The longest we had to wait for a ride was about an hour for Space Mountain, and forty-five minutes for Indiana Jones. We got through character greet lines fairly quickly. I got to meet rare characters I’d never even dreamed of meeting! The atmosphere is so relaxed there. I liked it a lot, except for when pushy parents would shove their kids in front of others to meet a character instead of having them wait their turn.

Some people say that those who have visited Disneyworld would be disappointed in Disneyland, but that wasn’t the case at all for me. Disneyland has it’s own kind of magic and it was a lot easier to get caught up in it.

I met Aurora (and a really cool cast member named Melanie who I need to write a letter about), and took pictures near and around the castle. Amy and I rode the flying Dumbos (where every trip is a round one!), Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (um, why does he have to go to Hell during it? I closed my eyes during that part, and the room was HOT!). We did some character greets on the way out to California Adventure. I met Cinderella, and ran into the Mad Hatter and Alice too. Mickey and Goofy came along at the top of a trolley. The Mad Hatter went up to the trolley and talked, and Alice skipped away. In between all that, I posed for dorky pictures. Yay for being a dork!


Goofy and I had a lot of fun playing with my Mickey ears. He truly is a goofball.


I can’t get this darn thing out!


YAY!


I love this picture!

California Adventure was okay. I rode the Maliboomer. Basically it’s like Power Tower at Cedar Point—one of those rides that shoots you up. OMG it was so scary!!! And it’s not even as high as Power Tower! We rode the Mulholland Madness, which is a jerky, crazy little coaster. I screamed a lot for no reason. I got on the swings—of course they had a name and it was inside of a giant orange. I rode it twice, got right on with no waiting both times. California Screamin’ was closed down due to the tragedy that had occurred on it back in July.


I’m stuck in the R!


GET ME OUT!!!

I DID get to ride Soarin’ Over California and WOW. How FUN! I can’t even describe it, you just have to ride it. There is one at Disneyworld in Epcot too. I didn’t get to ride it then, so I am so stoked I got to ride the original one. You’re like in a hang glider and just gliding over California; the mountains, the oceans. The wind is blowing in your hair and you can smell the pine trees. TWO THUMBS UP to Soarin’!!

There were a few characters in California Adventure—Max was there, California/Surfer Dude Goofy, and Mulan, who was all alone! Goofy was busy dancing and wasn’t really doing any character greets, and Max was just walking around and chillin’. So after all that excitement, we were pretty much done with California Adventure.

Back to Disneyland we went. Took a few random pictures like this one:

… and then promptly ran into one of Mary Poppins’ penguins. Met the prettiest Ariel ever.

Saw the Evil Queen. That lady is crazy.


Amy: Can she get a picture with you?
Evil Queen: You have to walk with me.
Amy: You’re BEAUTIFUL!
Evil Queen (haughtily): I know.
Ronni (thinking): HAHAHA.

Ate dinner at Buzz Lightyear’s Club. He was doing greets but I was too hungry to wait. I had a cheeseburger and fries. It was as yummy as Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café at Disneyworld! Watched the parade after I met Ariel. We found a nice spot on the curb an hour before. I had to convince her that it would be worth it, but it didn’t take long. The parade was AWESOME! We had prime seats and we both got great shots. Amy is now hooked on Disney parades. YAY.

Rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad again. Sweet. Indiana Jones (holy cow, that ride is crazy!), the Matterhorn Bobsleds, and Pinnochio’s something or other. Mad Tea Party at night—AWESOME! Of course we rode SPACE MOUNTAIN too! YEAH!! Space Mountain was awesome, but it broke down while we were on it. Lucky for us, we’d just pulled into the station, so the ride was over for us anyway. What a great way to top off the night, and there was still shopping to do!

And yes I did shop. I’d held back all day so I could go crazy in World of Disney. I didn’t do too badly—mainly because I was feeling cheap, but also because I was conscientious of what would fit into my luggage. I got another toy monorail for Aidan (his other one broke), two little Mickeys and a little Minnie for myself, a magnet for the house, a pin (okay, I got two pins), and a Mickey Mouse Club wallet that matches my messenger bag. By now, both of us were exhausted—Amy was limping like an old woman (I love you, Amy!) and my body was screaming to lie down, so we went back to the hotel. I played on the computer a bit, then went back to bed. Mmm, sleep.

Day Three

We slept in Sunday. I was tired, she was tired. I knew we’d be going into L.A., so I wanted to dress cutely. I wore a new skirt and cami, and carried my cashmere sweater and Prada purse. I dressed to impress—sorta. My cheeks were naturally pink because I was SUNBURNED. Thankfully not enough to look like a lobster, though.

We drove around a bit. Amy showed me her house. She lives right by these gorgeous mountains. Amazing, and she doesn’t even think they’re a big deal. HUH?

We ate Roscoe’s Chicken’n Waffles and yes. YUM. So very yum. I’m craving it now.

There were pictures of the manager with celebrities like ‘Nsync and Pink. There was an autographed picture of Maurice Clarett hanging up.

After Roscoe’s, we went downtown. I called Star (selfstyled) so we could make plans for that night, and she told us how to get to the Hollywood sign. We finally made our way there after a few mishaps. I hadn’t realized it was in a park, with a trail that goes up really close to it, in a scenic sort of way. People ran there, or just picnicked and hung out. Neat.

We drove down Sunset Blvd (you can see the sign from there) and went to the Virgin Megastore to try and spot celebrities. No luck, but I did buy a new CD and Mean Girls on DVD. OH MY GOD. Los Angeles sales tax is a killer! 8.25% or something crazy like that!!! What the heck??? In Ohio, it’s 5.75%. Anyway, we did see look-a-likes as we were driving down Santa Monica Blvd. Possible Lindsay Lohan and Tara Reid in an SUV next to us (Amy! LOOK OUT!) in Beverly Hills.

We made it to the Third Street Promenade around 5:55 and we saw Star drive by in her cute car! After lots of phone calls, we finally saw each other (Star: I see you! I see you!) I gave her a huge hug. She was so beautiful! Her hair is gorgeous and she has the cutest voice! We walked around a bit, then went down to the beach. It was so pretty, the sun setting behind us as we posed for pictures. I was stoked to see the ocean, although it was tres calm. We had dinner at a place called Goucho Grill and it was yummy. Although they smothered Star’s food with onions. Poor thing. We are all proud onion-haters. Once she got them off, she seemed to enjoy everything. We talked and had a few drinks and had a good time getting to communicate without typing!!

Star had to leave before 11pm because the garage she was in closed early. We walked her to her car and then she drove us to Amy’s car. Star’s car is super, duper cool! She said “I have Ronni in my car!” and I was all “I’m in Star’s car!!!”

On the way to the hotel, I sent a text message to Kelly (hybridpeach). Then I called her. We made plans to meet at the hotel at 9:30 and then have IHOP. I was excited, having just met Star and now going to meet Kelly and Becky!

Got back, Amy got on my computer, I fell asleep while reading. Apparently, she took a picture of me sleeping with the book still open. Heh.

Day Four

I woke up early again. Darn it. I got ready and everything. Amy kept begging for ten more minutes of sleep. Then seven more minutes. Then twenty more. I finally got her up at about 8:45, telling her that Kelly would be there in 45 minutes. She bounded into action.

Kelly sent me a few text messages as she was on her way and showed up right on time. Pictures don’t do her justice either. And Becky was adorable times infinity.

Amy couldn’t find her wallet so we all searched while Becky gurgled and played. So much fun! I played and played with her. Kelly was a totally easy-going mom. And IHOP was yummy. :) We all had a Rooty-Tooty Fresh and Fruity. Becky had a few strawberries and sweet potatoes, though. I didn’t want to leave Kelly, she is so easy to talk to and very calm. Brandon called her a million times. I wish he’d have been there.

So now it was time to go. Off to the airport we went. I went inside and went through the stuff. Hopped on board, and flew to Texas. Again, I hate that airport. Hate.It. flew to Columbus from Dallas on a little plane that was almost empty. It was so nice and quiet. I went to sleep a few times. Had an entire row to myself. Then I was home. And that’s all. :) The End.

I had a wonderful trip! :) I hope you enjoyed the pictures and my recount. Amy, feel free to add anything in the comments if I forgot something. :)

HOLY CRAP I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS PAST WEEKEND EVEN HAPPENED!!!

For those of you who can’t get enough (like me!), here are a couple of video downloads:

Mickey’s Toontown | Click! | 2.9 M
Fireworks Finale | Click! | 22.7 M

I’ll put up a photo album soon. The summer is ending, so it’s about that time anyway. :) LOTS and LOTS more pictures to come! :)

Byeeeeeeeeeeee! ºOº

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On This Magic Night… (Pictures)

I had so much fun at Disneyland!

Just a quick entry right now, I am EXHAUSTED!!

Highlights:
1. Getting stuck on Space Mountain for a moment because it had broken down (the ride was flippin’ awesome tho!)
2. SOARIN’ Over California. OMG. WOW.
3. Meeting Prince Charming!!!!!!!

4. “Running away” with Mickey Mouse (!!)
5. The Matterhorn and all the other rides that are here and not Disneyworld. WOohoO!
6. Doing really goofy stuff. :D

Mmm. So tired. Must sleep now. Good night…er morning. Or something… ZZzzZZZzzZZZ.

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I’m Here! (Pictures)

After a crazy day of events including a delayed 2nd flight and countless gate changes and others that I’m too tired to recount at the moment, I’m on my way to bed after a bit. I’m here, Amy and I have already ventured to Disneyland, and I’m still in awe that I am actually in California!! :)


Funny story behind this sign, but Amy might kill me if I told. ;)


The pretty Sleeping Beauty castle. VERY tiny compared to the Cinderella castle, but beautiful nonetheless.


Lord, help this child.

I had fun tonight. We got to Disneyland at about 8:05pm, two hours before close. Lots of cool night shots. Can’t wait to get daytime shots tomorrow/today. Got to ride the Pooh ride and Big Thunder Mountain, yay!

That’s all for now. My body thinks it’s 4am. Time for some serious ZzzZZing. ‘Til later!

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The Decision’s (almost) Been Made

So, I’m 97% sure I’m going to take Aimzy (liesandpromises) up on her offer to visit her in Los Angeles. I’ve always wanted to go, it will coincide with a lot of other things, and will be loads of fun. I need to get away from here for a while and immerse myself in a whole new world.

I’m just waiting to hear back from her regarding the dates; if the ones I chose are okay or not.

I’m starting to get excited!!! :D

Here is what I’d like to do there:

– Drive down Sunset Blvd.
– Take a picture of the Hollywood sign.
– Spot one celebrity.
– GO TO DISNEYLAND!!!
– OF COURSE, spend lots of quality time with Aimzy! Oooh, that will be so much fun! :D

I hope I can pull it off. *prays* I hope I have enough money to do everything I want to do. Seriously, how amazing would it be to have visited Disneyworld during Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary celebration, but then to get to visit DISNEYLAND too!! Oh wow. Wow wow wow. Characters, parades, shows. MAGIC!!

SQUEEEEEEEE!!!

ETA: I am 100% sure and beside myself with excitement!! CALIFORNIA, HERE I COME!! :) Only a month and a half away! DOUBLE SQUEEEE!

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